Croatia is one of my favourite summer destinations for so many reasons. Last year, my boyfriend and I visited Hvar, the busiest of the Croation islands, just an hour’s ferry from the mainland. Hvar is known for attracting the rich and famous, and I can see why…with its crystal clear waters, incredible superyachts, beautiful 13th century buildings, glamorous nightlife and famous restaurants.
Explore the Pakleni Islands by boat
At the heart of Hvar is St Stephan’s Square; the hub of Hvar, brimming with restaurants, cocktail bars and boutique shops all overlooking the port. We loved getting an ice cream and looking at all the amazing superyachts. But round the corner from the yachts, there are plenty of little motor boats you can hire and without the need for a skippers licence. A standard boat is around 500 kuna (£50) for the day and they’ll give you some basic training.
The Pakleni Islands are a collection of gorgeous weirdly-shaped islands, made up of hidden beaches, deserted lagoons and lush pine forest. The best thing to do is pack a picnic and just go on an adventure. Bring a snorkel, so you can just drop the anchor close to shore and go for a swim.
Day drinking is a must on this glamorous party island. Carpe Diem beach club is the perfect place to while away an afternoon sipping cocktails, taking in the sea views and listening to music. There’s also a wellness area, diving school, beach volleyball court, 2 beaches and a pool.
Carpe Diem is open daily from May – late September and plays host of a number of events. You’ll need to take a taxi boat to get there and make sure you book a sun bed in advance.
Hike up to the Fortress
If you look up from St Stephen’s Square you’ll see the famous Hvar Fortress sitting amidst the hilltops, it is a bit of a trek up there but it’s well worth it. You’ll be rewarded by a spectacular panoramic view right across the island.
The Fortress is definitely worth looking around, but we would suggest going towards the end of the day when the sun is starting to set so the hike isn’t so traitorous and the Fortress isn’t so busy.
Boat trips to the Blue Cave
There are all sorts of tour operators offering boat excursions, but the Blue Cave is the best in my opinion. It’s at its most beautiful between 11am – 12pm on a clear day, as the sun’s rays filter through the sea and reflect off the cave’s limestone floor to create an eerily intense blue glow.
It is a tourist hotspot and you will have to wait your turn before entering the cave, but it is still worth doing if you’re in Hvar, you’ll agree when you see just how magical the cave is in real life.
Dine at Dalmatino
It’s no secret that Dalmatino is the best restaurant on the Island, and therefore it gets booked up FAST. First thing you should do is book a table here to avoid disappointment. It’s built on family tradition which is reflected in the delicious Mediterranean food and cosy décor.
Located just off the main square, it’s away from all the hustle and bustle, perfect for relaxing and enjoying its famous steak, seafood and wine. They invite you to feel like a local making it the perfect place to experience the wonderful cuisine Hvar has to offer.
As glamorous as Hvar can be, most of the best things to do can be enjoyed on a budget. It’s a truly beautiful island and I definitely recommend visiting. Feel free to ask me any questions!